Course Outline for QuickBooks for Contractors 2014

Week 1

Lesson 1- Getting to Know QuickBooks

Contracting businesses have many unique accounting and reporting needs. In this first lesson, you'll learn how to set and edit your general, accounting, tax, and time-tracking preferences to fit your particular company. We'll go on a brief tour of the QuickBooks 2014 Contractor Edition, and you'll learn how to create and manage company files and utilize the program's multiuser and mobility features.

Lesson 2- Defining Your Setup

In this lesson, you'll learn the QuickBooks basics, like how to create and edit accounts in your company file. Then you'll see how you can modify company templates (estimates and invoices, for example) to track all kinds of valuable information. And you'll find out how working backward from certain reports can be the overriding factor in defining your file setup. Because not all contractors are the same, we'll also go over some of the major setup differences between a typical contractor, like a plumber or electrician, and a company that purchases and develops real estate as its main purpose.

Week 2

Lesson 3- Creating Items and Subitems

Today we'll focus on the Items List, which is an extremely useful tool for contractors. Even though different types of contractors will set up their lists differently, there are some general guidelines you can follow to ensure that your list works effectively and efficiently. We'll also cover some tricks for cleaning up and organizing an existing Item List to better suit your needs.

Lesson 4- Performing Job Costing

QuickBooks provides some great tools to assist you in tracking both revenues and expenses for each job you complete, and we'll go over them in today's lesson. Get ready to learn the first steps that will lead you into the estimating and invoicing phases of your business. You'll also find out how to use the Customer:Job List to create and edit Customers and Jobs.

Week 3

Lesson 5- Estimating and Invoicing Customers

One of the more powerful features that the Contractor Edition offers you is the ability to create project estimates. In this lesson, you'll learn how to create these estimates and transfer the information to an invoice. Next, you'll find out how to handle the different invoicing methods contractors often face, such as time and materials and progress invoicing, and you'll get an opportunity to enter a few sample invoices using the different methods.

Lesson 6- Handling the Money That Comes In

Wouldn't it be great if every project progressed exactly as you laid it out in the initial project estimate? Since this is rarely the case, the Contractor Edition gives you a few features to help you easily handle different situations. Today you'll learn the steps you need to follow to enter change orders and retainage. You'll find out how to properly apply customer payments to outstanding invoices. Making errors in applying payments can devastate your bookkeeping records, so we'll also explore some simple techniques you can follow to avoid these common problems.

Week 4

Lesson 7- Handling the Money That Goes Out

There are many different methods for paying your bills in QuickBooks. In today's lesson, you'll learn the most basic methods for creating a new vendor and entering a check transaction. In addition, you'll see how you can use purchase order and bill-paying features to better track costs that are more common for contractors (such as materials and subcontractor costs). Finally, we'll take a quick tour through tracking credit card accounts.

Lesson 8- Entering and Tracking Time by Job

Today we'll discuss recording time entries and how you can transfer these entries to other locations in the program, such as invoices. Much like expenditures for materials and supplies, you'll see that you can break time entries down and assign them to a specific job or project. As long as you have the breakdowns available (on a time card, for instance), you'll be able to split the hours that your company spends on multiple jobs on the same day.

Week 5

Lesson 9- Creating Payroll

In this lesson, we'll focus on the key payroll issues that contractors face. For instance, you'll learn how to create payroll items as part of your job-costing system. We'll also discuss some techniques for filing workers' compensation reports. Finally, you'll gain an understanding of the process you need to follow to create a paycheck and pay your payroll taxes.

Lesson 10- Creating Reports

The reporting features in the Contractor's Edition of QuickBooks are vast. In this lesson, you'll discover how to locate critical information for your business, and then how to generate some spectacular reports to help you to better manage day-to-day activities. You'll also gain a better understanding of the key financial statements, specifically the balance sheet and profit and loss reports.

Week 6

Lesson 11- Preparing for Tax Time

We'll begin this lesson with a discussion of some simple but important month-end procedures, like reconciling accounts and printing reports. Next, you'll learn how to perform a few procedures to condense and clean up your accounting file and prepare it for a new year. We'll also cover how to enter and use QuickBooks' powerful budgeting feature.

Lesson 12- Safeguarding Your Assets

In our final lesson, we'll go over simple steps you can take to reduce your risks and safeguard your business assets. You'll learn how to set up and restrict users to certain areas of the program, review an Audit Trail report, and set a closing date for the books. We'll explore some basic internal control principles, and you'll find out which reports you should place on your monthly reading list.

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